During the preseason, Sandwich coach Chris Gendreau firmly believed his girls basketball team was going to contend for the Atlantic Coast League title.
But when the team sputtered and faltered to an 0-7 start, he said he felt as if "a dark cloud was hanging over him."
"I didnít think it was anything I could fix basketball-wise, and that frustrated me," he said.
On Monday, everything was going right for the Blue Knights.
They defeated Dennis-Yarmouth 84-28 to clinch a share of the ACL title Ė completing a furious run in which they've won 10 of their last 11 games.
Chris' daughter, co-captain Erin Gendreau, scored a career-high 41 points to lead the Blue Knights against Dennis-Yarmouth.
She was substituted for in the last three minutes of the first three quarters, and didn't play the last six minutes of the final frame.
Sandwich turned to a half-court press in the first half, and the team's 16 steals led to a bevy of easy baskets.
"The win is the icing on the cake for a team that started 0-7," Chris Gendreau said. "It took a while to gel, but we're functioning at a high level and team chemistry is at an all- time high."
Sid Miller, a senior co-captain, paced the tenacious defensive effort with six steals, while scoring six points.
"She's an undersized forward who brings a certain amount of toughness to our team," Gendreau said of the 5-foot-7 Miller. "She's good at distributing the basketball, and the chemistry between her and Erin makes it easy to score points. And she's great at stealing the ball."
Sandwich, which is 10-8 and 9-3 in league play, hasn't won the league title in five seasons and Monday's win guarantees a share of the crown.
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- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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